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Stage 1 Myeloma- B2M, Albumin, Survival?

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Survival rates vary significantly by stage of the disease. Those with serious cancers (multiple myeloma) who are in stage 1, for example, may have better survival rates than those with stage 2 or 3 cancer…”

On  the sales page for the MM Cancer Coaching Program I make the statement that the FDA approved standard-of-care therapy plan for multiple myeloma is effective for stage 2 or 3 MM patients who are willing to undergo aggressive chemotherapy to achieve an average survival of 5-7 years.

I don’t mean to sound snarky when I make that statement. I didn’t pay attention to the published studies when I was diagnosed with MM so I can see how other people wouldn’t pay attention to the averages either.

Let me be clear. If you are the average MM patient (65-75 years of age, stage 2 or 3/advanced MM),  the FDA standard-of-care therapy plan of induction chemo (RVD or similar), an autologous stem cell transplant followed by maintenance therapy:

  • will result in a host of short term, long-term and late stage side effects
  • will result in an average life expectancy of 5-7 years.

To be fair, stage 2, 3 MM is fairly advanced MM. Conventional oncology has worked hard to learn how to stabilize  the MM patient s with advanced MM. Aggressive chemo is required to put the newly diagnosed MM patient into remission.

But it is essential for the newly diagnosed MM patient to understand that that stabilization comes at a cost.

I’ve linked and excerpted the article below to highlight three important issues for the newly diagnosed MM patient.

  • Early stage MM has a much better prognosis than stage 2,3 MM has-
  • FDA approved SOC therapy is too much chemo aka toxicity for  early stage MM
  • staging for newly diagnosed MM is all about your diagnostic testing values-

A patient’s albumin and beta 2 micro globulin levels can tell the patient a lot about how he/she will survive, how much chemotherapy he/she should have.

Please determine your stage at diagnosis. You can study your diagnostic info to do this or you can send me your diagnostic info and I can tell you your lab values- especially your monoclonal proteins, B2M, albumin, etc.

Your stage, age, current health, etc. will point you toward your therapy plan. You may or may not need the standard-of-care, one size fits all therapies for multiple myeloma.

As the saying goes, knowledge is power!

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for your time and attention.

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Multiple Myeloma Stages and Prognosis

Survival Rates-

Survival rates vary significantly by stage of the disease. Those with serious cancers who are in stage 1, for example, may have better survival rates than those with stage 2 or 3 cancer…

The survival rates of multiple myeloma are estimated based on epidemiologic data collected by the National Cancer Institute’s SEER program, and the stages they use for multiple myeloma are different from the ones they use for solid tumor cancer.2

Under the SEER program, multiple myeloma is classified by the number of tumors present, and are described as localized (one tumor), distant (many tumors throughout the body), and regional. Since multiple myeloma does not travel to the lymph nodes, the regional stage does not apply.

Five-year Survival Rate of Multiple Myeloma by Stage
 Stage  Percent of Cases by Stage Five-Year Survival Rate
Localized  5%  74.8%
Regional  0% Not applicable
Distant 95%  52.9%
All stages combined 100%  52%

These survival rates don’t take personal risk factors into account. For example, if a person with distant multiple myeloma takes care of their health in every aspect, their likelihood of survival could be better than someone who has the same condition but does not lead a healthy lifestyle…

Stage of Disease

The stages of multiple myeloma as defined by the International Staging System are:3

  • Stage 1: Only a small number of the cancer cells can be found, and they are in a localized area. The number of cancer cells is measured by the level of two specific proteins, albumin and beta-2-microglobulin. At this stage, the level of beta-2-microglobulin, which can help decode levels of tumor cells in blood, is less than 3.5 mg/L. Levels of albumin, a globular protein, are typically 35 g/L or more
  • Stage 2: More myeloma cells are found, while beta-2-microglobulin levels are less than 3.5 mg/L and albumin levels are less than 35 g/L. This stage can also be characterized by beta-2-microglobulin levels that are more than 3.5 mg/L and less than 5.5. mg/L with any level of albumin
  • Stage 3: A large number of myeloma cells is present, and beta-2-microglobulin levels are 5.5. mg/L or higher with any level of albumin…

Lab Values

Several clinical and laboratory findings considered prognostic indicators can help determine how fast the tumor is growing,

  • the extent of disease,
  • the biological makeup of the tumor,
  • the response to therapy,
  • and the overall health status of the individual.5





Leave a Comment:

Tom Krymkowski says a couple of years ago

Diagnosed with stage 3 MM where doc says chemo or die in 3 months. So I am taking chemo. Have you ever heard of Multiple Myeloma’s Natural Calcium Cure by a “dr Casey or pen name Nomar Myeloma:? What can you tell me about that? It is confusing as it says we have elevated albumin levels with proper calcium will eleminate MM. What if my M-proteins are not with elevated albumin? Will this work?

    David Emerson says a couple of years ago

    Hi Tom- I had never heard of MM Natural Cal. Cure before you mentioned it. I searched the words and came upon books of the same name. Sorry I can’t provide any info about that.

    In my experience, MM cannot be cured. However supplementation , diet and lifestyle can help manage remissions as well as symptoms and side effects.

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